We might get heated, but in the end its because we enjoy the game and we all know that its in a formative state. We all want to influence the dev team into steering the game in directions we want to see it go, and to avoid letting it go in directions we don't want it to go.
Its good for the game to have these "debates" now when they actually mean something, rather than later when its too late.
Sounds good, but even I find really hard to collect ideas on the forum for my upcoming games, because for every unique idea there are dozens of "debates". Every now and then I come back to read about the updates, the new suggestions and the reactions. I hardly ever comment, because I don't want to force my opinion on players who play this game day and night. So I just read the ideas and read the personal attacks nothing to do with the idea, or the game, but related to that specific person's writing skills, communication skills, etc. Obviously I quickly reach the point when I give up, leave the forum, and look for a less toxic community somewhere else. Then a little bit later I forget why I left, and I come back just to experience the same again and again.
For a very long time I didn't understand how did this community became so toxic throughout the years. I understand why the peaceful players leave this game. You either build weapons and never use them, or build decorations that cannot be used for anything anyways. The survival aspect is non-existent, everything can be explored in a few hours, and everything can be built or bought in a few days, so also nothing left to achieve. So what left is a horde of so called PvPers, who are always debating about power updates, and limitations, and how they hate every other kind of players, like PvEers, RPers, who want to spoil their lovely little child with their system wrecking ideas. Oh, and each other, they love to hate each other too, except if they get criticized for it by the other group. In that case they quickly become BFFs, and every childish fight between them become useful and cultural debates. So everybody who is not on their side have to leave, or become their common enemy.
And I simply didn't understand if every other player left, why are they still here. Why are they keep waiting for new players, for new ideas, for new posts to destroy? There are a lot of other, more polished, more suitable games for their needs where they could prove how skillful killing machines they can be. But they stay here, in a laggy, unbalanced, repetitive sandbox game. Why?
And it took months, maybe over a year for me to realize, THIS is their game. The forum itself is the expansion of their Starmade experience. They are the so called Killers in Bartle's taxonomy. They are killing with cannons, killing with missiles and killing with words if nothing else left. They are not toxic, they are not deaf for productive and exciting ideas, they are players, player vs players, who continue their fight even on the forums. Arguing about that players shouldn't leave just because they attack them in the game, because they can easily fight back. And when their victims come to the forum looking for solutions, they attack them again here as well, forcing them to leave the game and the community entirely. They don't really care about influencing the dev team. For these people a "You are right!" after a 7-page long debate gives a bigger satisfaction than any building, newly explored area, or successful cooperation with a stranger. It doesn't matter of a dev will ever read it or not.
The problem is that neither this game in its current state, nor the forum will provide enough joy for any other type of people around. We'll see if the planned aspects and roles of the future updates will be enough to bring them back and endure the constant masturbatory of the PvPers.